Texans play-by-play guy Marc Vandermeer gets accused sometimes of being a "homer" for the Texans. True or not, it doesn't really matter to me. I consider Marc a friend and one of the nicest people in our business.
The "homer" thing kind of comes with the territory when you're (a) the play-by-play guy for a team, (b) you host a show on the flagship for that team, and (c) you find actual nice things to say about a team that's finished over .500 once in their nine-year history. Whether he is or not isn't that important considering he is going to get accused of it either way.
Much like hardcore porn or major NCAA violations (stealing from my man Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com), I can't describe "homer-ism," but I know it when I see it.
This is "homer-ism":
Behold, Beau Bock, a radio host for Atlanta's Sports Radio 790. This is audio of a call he took this week from a listener who accuses him of shilling for the hometown Falcons and trying to sell Falcon fans on some of their backups, like wide receiver Harry Douglas and running back Jacquizz Rodgers:
(Point of order: Hearing Vandermeer lose his shit the way Bock did in that call would be highly entertaining. I don't think Vandy has that figurative "club in his bag," probably more of my boy Lance Zierlein's thing -- especially if we somehow convinced him Drayton McLane was behind it, but it would be funny to hear.)
So Beau Bock doesn't think he's a homer. Let's put this one-minute sound bite on the witness stand and cross examine, shall we?
0:16 -- The first hint of Bock's voice (a benign "well, ya know what") is heard and he sounds like a dead ringer for WFAN's Mike Francesa, one of the more renowned homers in our business. So guilt by voice association sets in right out of the chute.
0:18 -- Tim from Stone Mountain (the caller) points out that he's lived in Atlanta for 43 years, to which Beau responds with a barrage of "No you haven't"s. It's one thing for Beau to disagree with Tim's opinion on players, but I'm pretty sure that Tim has a better idea of how long Tim has lived in Atlanta than Beau.
0:24 -- Beau: "If you've been a Falcon fan your whole life, you'd realize we were on the verge of something special." Yeah, Tim, and when your team is on the verge of something special, all of the players are awesome, okay?!? Even Harry Douglas and Jacquizz Rodgers. How dare you question the skills of a wide receiver who's missed two seasons with a knee injury and a fifth round rookie running back?? What are you, fucking stupid, Tim??
0:35 -- Beau: "Harry Douglas is going to be a dynamic receiver!" If you're Tim (or me...or anyone), this is the money quote that you sock away and save as an MP3 on your iPhone so that when you run into Beau Bock in public, you play it for him and then hope that he slugs you in the jaw and you cash in on a six-figure lawsuit for punitive damages. It could work. Beau Bock is a potential cash machine. To wit...
0:39 -- ...if Harry Douglas is not a dynamic receiver, Beau Bock will give Tim a hundred dollars, which is a really stupid wager. If Harry Douglas isn't dynamic, Beau Bock owes Tim a hundred dollars; if Harry Douglas is dynamic, then Tim doesn't owe Beau Bock anything. Do we know if Bock runs a casino anywhere? I'd love to sit down at his blackjack tables, where the house has to hit on anything below 20.
(By the way, Texan fans, if you're looking for a basis of comparison, imagine if Jacoby Jones missed two years with a knee injury and was coming back this season. Then imagine your favorite host shouting you down and telling you that Jacoby would be a "DYNAMIC RECEIVER!!" It's that stupid.)
0:42 -- Beau: "You have no idea what you're talking about!!" The Harry Douglas Fan Club says AMEN, Beau!
0:58 -- Tim secures status as my favorite sports talk caller when he tells Beau to stop being a homer. If Beau were a stick of dynamite, and if there were a wick coming out of Beau's head, Tim saying the word "homer" was a Zippo lighter.
1:00 -- Beau explodes, denies being a homer twice, threatens the caller with a "Don't ever call me a homer..." and then caps it with a "Who's been telling the truth on Atlanta radio since 1973?!?" BEAU! THAT'S WHO!! He's been rocking the truth since Steve Bartkowski wore short pants, Tim, you ungrateful, antagonizing, nearsighted piece of shit! BEAU KNOWS!!
1:13 -- Beau mutters, "Boy, that ticks me off..." No shit, huh? Hadn't noticed.
So, in the final argument, we have:
1. A host telling a caller that the caller does not know general, pertinent information about himself.
2. A host telling us emphatically and with conviction that a receiver with one career touchdown catch who has missed the last two years with a crippling knee injury is going to be dynamic...
3. ... and if he's not the host will give the caller $100. No wager, just here's a hundy!
4. Host tells caller that the caller has no idea what he's talking about, three seconds after the host guaranteed that Harry Douglas would be dynamic.
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5. The money shot -- "I AM NOT A HOMER!!" Three times in two seconds.
The prosecution rests. Beau Bock is GUILTY on multiple counts of homer-ism. He will now be sentenced to six months of watching Harry Douglas's one touchdown catch on an endless loop in solitary confinement.
And you think Tim ticked him off...
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio (Sirius 94, XM 208) and 1560 The Game in Houston, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.